Pretty Jesus, they can't read. But we got 'em, and we gonna
give Jem hell, and you, Mr. Secretary, you write the bastards
and tell 'em I said so!"
" We're not trying to break the tobacco companies," the
Senator had said; and then quickly added: "Not that I'm
trying to talk you gentlemen into accepting this offer. But
we aren't trying to break them. What we want is a fair
price. Just a fair price. When they offer us that I'm in
favour of doing business with them. We just want to be
fair, we don't want to gouge them-----"
"The hell I don't!" Mr. Christian shouted. " Who says I
don't? I'd like to gouge their God-damned eyes out and
feed 'em to 'em for oysters. By God, I would, and I'd pay
money to do it. I'd like to cut their guts out and tie 'em in
bow knots around their necks and hang the bastards on
Christmas trees, for orphan children in hell"—he had
slapped the table again—"and if anybody here still has a
hog's eyebrow of doubt in his mind as to how I'm gonna
vote on this proposition, I'll break down and tell him. I
won't let him languish for information. I'm gonna vote no."
" I suppose,'7 Mr. Sills had said, " it won't be necessary to
enter these remarks in full in the minutes."
"You can frame Jem, for all of me, and hang 'em over
your bed/* Mr. Christian had replied. " You can teach 'em
to nursing mothers and small children."
Even the knowledge that some eight hundred thousand
pounds of tobacco outside the Association had moved within
the past ten days did not do much to impair the confidence
and pleasure of the day; nor the clipping from the paper
which Mr. Sills had brought. He bought a paper when he
came through the settlement above Monclair Crossing, he
had said. He had carefully removed the clipping from his
Icmg slick leather wallet, which he always kept bound with
three big rubber bands, and had read the item to the board.
The item was to the effect that Mr. Ben Sullins, a respected
tofetccG farmer of the Allen Settlement section and a strong
taii-A^ociatioa man, had found a bundle of switches and